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World's largest truck stop is an oasis in Iowa

By Mary Bergin, Special to the Journal Sentinel -
Posted Jan 9th 2019 2:43PM

On the outskirts of small-town Iowa, the makings of civilization roll by, 18 wheels at a time.

That might mean a tarp-covered load of lumber. Flatbed of steel beams. Double-decker of new SUVs. Lowboy with construction equipment. Refrigerated truck of vegetables. Livestock trailer with Holsteins. One tanker of gasoline, another of milk.

The divergent yet compatible, impromptu caravan of semitrailers seems ongoing at the Interstate 80 truck stop in Walcott, Iowa, billed as the largest in the world. That’s “largest” as in number of parking spaces (900 for trucks), employees (500), acreage (225) and building size (around 123,000 square feet), said Heather DeBaillie of the Iowa 80 Group, which owns the complex.

The truck stop is halfway between New York City and San Francisco, along the nation’s second-longest interstate highway (I-80 is roughly 2,900 miles long and 200 miles shorter than I-90).

The business has not closed since opening in 1964. It is beyond what you’d expect and averages 5,000 customers per day...



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